Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - 10

Casalena recommended. "Chances are
there's more than one gobbler in the
area, but if the dominant gobbler is
still present, then subordinate gobblers
might either not come in or sneak in,
depending on the dominance of the lead
longbeard."
Calls and calling techniques are
equally important.
"If you call with a partner, trade
who calls each day," Casalena recommended. "Variety is the key to success
in turkey calling."

THE ROUTINE

The spring season opens on average
with about half of all hens beginning to
incubate eggs, and most of the remaining hens with gobblers. The season has
always been timed to open this way to
ensure enough hens are bred and com-

S A F E T Y
Use of fluorescent orange material - 100
square inches - in Pennsylvania spring turkey
hunting began in 1992, in response to unacceptable numbers of hunters being shot in
mistake for turkeys. Today, as a result of safety
education, better informed hunters and a
decrease in participating spring turkey hunters, fluorescent orange no longer is required
to be displayed.
However, the Game Commission still
urges hunters to wear some fluorescent
orange, particularly while moving and calling. It's also a good idea to protect your back
when calling by sitting up against a big tree,
and to assume every noise and movement
you detect is another hunter.
As you contemplate these safety suggestions, remember that turkey hunting is
recreation, a pursuit that doesn't require you
to take unnecessary risks or measure your
success by how many turkeys you take. It's a
time to get closer to nature and, hopefully,
turkeys. But it's important to be alert, to hunt
defensively and to enjoy yourself.
10

mitted to nests, providing the potential
for greater reproductive success.
So if your preferred tom is tied up
with ladies in the first week, just give
him some time, because there's a high
probability that some or most of the
hens will leave him within a week to
begin incubating their nests, Casalena
noted.
However, sometimes you can call
the hens - and subsequently the gobbler - to you.
"It just depends on what the birds are
interested in doing that particular day,
and you won't know what that is until
you begin experimenting," Casalena
explained. "Don't get discouraged if
they don't come to you. Try a different setup after an hour if they don't
come in."
Gobblers establish harems in early
spring so, by the season opener, he
knows what calls his hens make. And,
he's intent on keeping his ladies club
intact. He intensely works the first two
hours of every day to bring his harem
together, so its members don't wander
off to feed or lay an egg before he
breeds them.
When a new hen appears - a hunter
calling - it certainly sparks his interest,
Casalena said.
"He might abandon his harem, bring
them along, or a lead hen might bring
him to you," she said. "One never
knows!"
"When the rest of his harem eventually leaves to incubate nests, a gobbler
soon becomes lonely and starts looking
for company; that's when your call will
be most effective."
Regional reductions in 2-year-old
gobblers could put a damper on calling
in your area, because 2-year-olds tend



Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - 4
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Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - Cover4
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